So-called after the first question of its type concerning a 'Dorothy Dix', the Dorothy is a question usually prepared in advance to be asked by a member of the Government's own party as a tactic to achieve two objectives:

  • take time away from the Opposition in the given Question Time
  • give a Minister or the PM a platform for expounding a government triumph or an attack on the Opposition.

Dorothy Dixes are regarded as a necessary evil by both sides; both, it seems, enjoys them when in government and rail against them when in opposition.